LIFE

CD on flora

MOTORISTS PASSING along the Besant Avenue may have experienced a change in climate once they enter the Theosophical Society stretch. Hundreds of trees inside the campus are the cause for the temperature variation.

It is not another campus in a private area. It is a forest within the city. According to the available data, more than 450 species are found in the 260-acre campus, of which about 100 are exotic.

Seven years ago, two students from Madras Christian College, Tambaram, studied the spread of flora on the campus for their M.Phil dissertation. While one of the students analysed the trees and herbs, the other spoke in detail about the herbs and palm varieties found inside.

In 1925, the Golden jubilee of the Theosophical Society was organised. Members, from various regions of the world, brought a little soil from their countries. This was a symbolic gesture of universal brotherhood. Today the area is an avenue of Mahogany trees called "Founders Avenue."

Based on the thesis and further study done by various individuals, the Theosophical Society has now compiled a CD of the flora in the Society premises, with pictures of the identified trees and plants. The CD preparation work began in November last year and it was entrusted to Society's Garden Department. The project was completed recently.

The CD will be released during the 128th annual convention, beginning on December 26.

In January this year, T.P. Alaganantham, a physician-turned-nature photographer, teamed up with the Soceity's garden supervisor, Krishnan. While the latter identified the species, the former photographed them.

]When the compilation work began, they wanted to add the medicinal properties of each species.

They were assisted by an expert on medicinal plants, M.S. Premila.

The three-member team worked for about a year and brought out the CD.

With the CD ready for the launch, those interested in learning more about the flora cover in the city, now have reliable data, says Arjun Gopalratnam, General Manager of the Society.

By Oppili P

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